Sunday, February 21, 2010

Valentine Luncheon 2010, part II: the guests arrive.

Elizabeth and Wendy were among the first guests who braved the weather to arrive at my Valentine Luncheon

This was Scot's third year to help with my luncheon. He greeted everyone at the door with a glass of Kir Royale (champagne and Creme de Cassis liqueur) or almond tea

Seth offered my guests an hors d'oeuvres (these are Maple Salmon Bites)

I also made Stilton Tart with Cranberry Chutney, which has become an annual tradition because it tastes wonderful and looks so festive

Here are Scot and Seth with both hors d'oeuvres

Guests mingle in the entry hall

Notice the mercury glass votives on the dining room table. I gave these as party favors

Coming up next... lunch is served.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Valentine Luncheon 2010, part I: tables and flowers.


Here are the promised pictures from my luncheon last Saturday. The event went very well: most of my guests were able to attend despite the delay of a day, and everyone seemed to have a nice time. My friends were very complimentary and appreciative.

I never expected snow in Dallas for my annual Valentine Luncheon!

The very talented Cherry from Cherry's Jubilee crafted this pretty "Friends" banner for me last year out of vintage papers. She also made the XOXO on the mantle

My tables had been set since Thursday night. The flowers arrived as scheduled Friday morning (despite pretty bad road conditions!). This is the table in my Living Room

Close-up of the Living Room flowers

My sweet neighbor and good friend Karey came over several hours early Saturday morning to help with last minute preparations (here she is pictured with her daughter, Allison, who is Dots's BFF)

My Dining Room table

Close-up of the Dining Room flowers

The table in the den

Close-up of den flowers

Breakfast Room table

Close-up of Breakfast Room flowers - these were my favorite!

Coming tomorrow... the guests arrive in the snow!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sneak Peek: Valentine Luncheon 2010.


First of all, warm thanks for the many kind comments of support after my post bemoaning the fate of my annual Valentine Luncheon. Happily, I was able to hold the event on Saturday WITH electricity and with most of my invitees in attendance.

My sweet friend, Donna, takes photographs during the luncheon for me. I don't yet have those, but I thought I'd share just a couple from my own camera right now with a promise of more to follow soon.



Check back soon for more pictures, details and recipes!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine plans gone awry.


We had a record amount of snow fall in Dallas yesterday (over 12"). Typically I love it when we get snow: having a day with nothing to do and an excuse to stay in bed and keep warm is right up my alley!


Today, however, was to be my annual Valentine luncheon.



My wonderful friend Cynthia was flying in from Jackson, Mississippi yesterday. She made it as far as Houston and then had to turn around and fly back home after enduring six hours of Dallas-bound flights being delayed and then cancelled.

So many of my plans were in place that I decided to proceed with my luncheon in spite of the weather. Most of my guests live nearby, and I received several encouraging emails along the lines of "I'll be there even I have to crawl through the snow!"


Last night I got all my tables set and was prepared to get up at 6 this morning and knock out the last of the food items on my list. I awoke, however, to discover that our power had gone out during the night. Everything I had left to do required the use of my oven. Our house was also freezing without heat. When 9:00 rolled around and our electricity had yet to be restored, I reluctantly used my phone to email everyone and postpone the luncheon.


I have sat home all day and alternated between trying to keep warm and looking sorrowfully at my beautiful tables thinking they might all be for naught.


Finally about a half hour ago, our lights came back on! I'm about to assess the state of things in my refrigerator (so happy for my Sub-Zero - everything still seems to be quite cold in there - of course the temperature inside my house was hovering at 50° which had to help) and then head back to the store as needed.

Stay tuned for more pictures!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cooking Club, November 2008.

**Update: The "crayola" next to each place was a party favor. It is a very flat pen that can be left inside a book for making notes. I keep mine in our current cookbook as we always pull out our books at Cooking Club during dessert and jot down comments about that month's recipes.**

January 2009 157

In November 2008 my Cooking Club met at my highly creative friend Ellen's house. She had such a clever table setting, but I neglected to bring my camera to the gathering and I only recently got these pictures from her. I thought you would enjoy seeing them even though it's well past Thanksgiving now.

January 2009 155

January 2009 154-1
For this darling cornucopia at the top of each placemat, Ellen steamed the end of an ice cream sugar cone to bend it, then dipped the opposite end in melted white chocolate and crushed pistachios before spilling multi-colored jellybeans from the opening. I believe she credited Martha Stewart for the original idea

Close-up of the napkin ring/placecard. Notice how Ellen cleverly typed all of our names together for the background and then highlighted my name in red to designate my seat at the table. She created the little turkey using scrapbooking punch dyes

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vivian cooks.

Vivian's teacher sent this video of her cooking at school. I thought it was fun to see.

This weekend Vivian and I were in the den, and she turned to me, pointed to our fireplace and asked, "Will you build me a campfire?" Of course I complied. Such a sweet girl!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Houston hockey.

We made a quick trip to Houston recently with Hockey Boy's travel team. In addition to seeing Will's three games, we were able to go to my niece Mary Grace's 3rd birthday party and I was able to squeeze in a short visit with my sweet friend Kim from 3 Peanuts (no pictures from that, sadly!). All in all a very fun weekend.

At Mary Grace's party - she ran over to us when we walked in and exclaimed, "Vivi's here! Vivi's here!" It was so very sweet and really warmed my heart

Dots enjoyed seeing her cousins at the party

After the party Vivian had fun with the sidewalk chalk at my brother's house

It's always great to have extra fans at a hockey game!

The boys were very interested in the game and loved spotting their cousin Will on the ice (Vivian, on the other hand, would prefer
Dora on her iPod Touch to a hockey game any day!)

Robert held up Mary Grace so she could see better

Watching for Will

There he is!

Although Mary Grace loved watching her cousin during the game, she was petrified of him off the ice in his uniform and skates!

My brother, my nephew and me with Will after the game. Did I mention Will scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left? Hence the big smile!

After the game my brother kindly invited the girls back to his house so Robert and I could enjoy dinner out with the team. I thought this was a cute picture of Will

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hockey Boy on tour, year 2.


Last month Hockey Boy and his choir traveled to San Francisco. They took a "master class" with a local vocal instructor and they performed a couple of times, but mostly they enjoyed seeing the wonderful sights of the beautiful city of San Francisco.

Despite my pleas to Hockey Boy to send me some pictures from his phone, I received only a couple from him, and I don't think any of them featured any people. Luckily one of the girls in his choir is my friend on Facebook, and she took lots of pictures and posted them there.

It looks like it was a very successful trip. Even Hockey Boy, who is a guy of notoriously few words, said he had a great time.

The choir had breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe one morning

Hockey Boy (in the center in the plaid jacket) hurt his foot in a game the week before the San Francisco trip; he wore a boot for two weeks but is fine now

Hockey Boy's choir really enjoyed their tour of Alcatraz

This is one of the few pictures Hockey Boy sent me (the papier maché head used as a decoy during an escape)

Ever the great conversationalist...

Having fun near the Golden Gate Bridge


Choir seniors

Hopefully he put his phone away and actually spoke to these pretty girls

The group took a day trip to the Muir Woods

Hockey Boy sent me this interesting little collage from the Muir Woods

They had a fun time at Ghiradelli Square one evening

The man in the green jacket came to hear the group perform at Pier 39. He had been a member of their choir in the 70's!

Far and away Hockey Boy's favorite part of the trip was their dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay. The only souvenir he brought home with was these sunglasses!


Now here's a side of my son I never see!

Clearly the orthopedic boot didn't impede his dancing - LOL

Who is this boy?!